Thinking about Declaring a Russian Major?

Advice from a Current Senior

by Clara Giorgis ’21

Declaring a major is one of the biggest decisions that students are asked to make during their college careers. There are a lot of questions to answer and a lot of different perspectives to consider! If you’re thinking about declaring a Russian major (or minor!) here is some advice that helped me when I was declaring:

  1. Think about what classes you are most excited to attend.

As a first year, I sort of knew that I wanted to major in Russian from the very beginning (it was one of the big reasons that I came to Dickinson!), however taking Russian 101 really sealed the deal for me. Even though it was early in the morning, I was so excited to go to Russian and learn whatever new vocabulary or grammar we were discussing that day.

  1. Talk with the faculty.

The professors in the Russian department have been by my side through studying abroad in Moscow to studying remotely. My advisor has always given me great advice on how I can make the most out of my Russian major and how to chart my future. The Russian department is also one of the smaller departments on campus which provides a wonderful opportunity to really get to know everyone!

  1. Learn more about the major (and especially the Moscow Program!)

Studying abroad in Moscow was one of the coolest opportunities that I had in my Dickinson career. Not only was I able to really improve my language skills, I also gained a deeper understanding of Russian culture.  The Moscow program is also distinctive in that we had the chance to live with host families and travel around Russia (and to Armenia!) as well.

  1. Think about how Russian can fit in with your other areas of interest.

For me, this was a bit of an easy question, as having a background in Russian language, culture, and history has helped to support my International Studies major as well, giving me a deeper perspective on Cold War and modern politics. However, my Russian major has also helped me in classes beyond my International Studies focus, giving me a unique perspective in courses from Latin American History to Modern Religions.

  1. Talk with current Russian majors!

While this article gives a bit about my experience, the path has been very different for everyone. Join in on Russian table calls and other club events to talk with current majors and get a better idea of what being a Russian major is all about. And, if you’re looking to see where a Russian major can take you in your future career, check out our alumni interview blog posts. You may be surprised how many different directions you can go!

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